BELLS, DINGS AND WHIS­TLES

As tech­nol­ogy's im­pact on our lives in­creases, our brains are forced to change the way they work. Heidi Walkin­shaw looks at how our phys­i­ol­ogy has adapted to em­brace tech, and its ef­fect on the way we live.

Elite Property Manager - - Contents - HEIDI WALKIN­SHAW Heidi Walkin­shaw has been im­mersed in prop­erty man­age­ment for over 14 years, deal­ing in all as­pects from leas­ing to prop­erty man­age­ment, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and team man­age­ment. Now a coach with Real+, she is pas­sion­ate about sys­tem impl

Heidi Walkin­shaw

Our love of the bells, dings, whis­tles sup­plied by tech­nol­ogy has cre­ated an ad­dic­tion. As a re­sult, we find that our brains are in the process of be­ing rewired to cope with the de­mands that tech­nol­ogy places on our ev­ery­day lives. Re­cent stud­ies have shown that our phys­i­ol­ogy has evolved, lead­ing to al­tered me­mory, sleep pat­terns and even our at­ten­tion spans. One of the more fas­ci­nat­ing stats to come out of th­ese stud­ies is that hu­mans, on av­er­age, now have an at­ten­tion span at an im­pres­sive eight sec­onds, which is less than that of a gold­fish.

In a space where the next step of our evo­lu­tion is a VR chip in­serted into our frontal lobe, it's im­per­a­tive to think about our peo­ple – and how this con­stant change and de­sire to be the next so­cial me­dia su­per­star is af­fect­ing their phys­i­cal and men­tal health on a daily ba­sis.

With mar­ket fluc­tu­a­tions and a global mar­ket­place, pres­sures and ex­pec­ta­tions not just on our­selves but also from our con­sumers are far greater than ever be­fore. We are in a world where pa­tience lev­els are wan­ing and the wants of the con­sumer can be end­less, such is the na­ture of the en­vi­ron­ment that the tech­no­log­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion has cre­ated.

In a space where the prod­uct is so vo­latile and ruled by the un­cer­tainty of emo­tion, it is im­per­a­tive that we equip our peo­ple with the right tools and re­sources to man­age and, above all, cope with the na­ture that is this in­dus­try.

Over re­cent years, I have found an in­ter­est­ing dy­namic that has shifted while work­ing with teams and par­tic­u­larly in oneon-one ses­sions. In an av­er­age monthly ses­sion, it has be­come nec­es­sary when pro­vid­ing sup­port to prop­erty man­age­ment teams to have a safe space to purge the burdens that they have taken on through­out the space of their long month; to as­sist with re­liev­ing some of that pres­sure and al­low­ing them to re­set, re­new and re­fo­cus to get through the days and months ahead, and to fo­cus on both their per­sonal and busi­ness goals.

One area that is of­ten en­cour­aged is that it is okay to switch off those phones. There isn't, or shouldn't be, an ex­pec­ta­tion to be an­swer­ing emails into the wee hours of the night or early hours of the morn­ing.

Con­sider the ex­pec­ta­tions and po­ten­tial long-term de­mands that you are set­ting up by in­grain­ing th­ese habits early in the cus­tomer re­la­tion­ship. We can all be guilty of this at times, but it is im­por­tant for your long-term men­tal and phys­i­cal health to have time to switch off the de­vices and wind down your brain to al­low it to re­pair.

The team at Thrive Global talk about the ben­e­fits of lock­ing the phone away, or at the very least putting it down and find­ing other things, be it med­i­ta­tion, read­ing, re­lax­ing or even ex­er­cise, to re­lease the good en­dor­phins that we need to feed and keep those neu­rons in our brains at their hap­pi­est.

Tech­nol­ogy can be a beau­ti­ful thing when har­nessed ef­fec­tively to free up space in our lives to re­con­nect on a real hu­man level.

THERE SHOULDN'T BE AN EX­PEC­TA­TION TO BE AN­SWER­ING EMAILS INTO THE WEE HOURS OF THE NIGHT OR EARLY HOURS OF THE MORN­ING.

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